Black Bear appoints CFO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Black Bear, the Dutch tire upcycling company, appointed Geert Glimmerveen as its new CFO, said Coatingsworld.

Before joining Black Bear, Glimmerveen spent more than 30 years in senior finance and executive positions at McKinsey & Company, DAF Trucks, Eneco, and Egeria.

Most recently, he was managing director for waste management and recycling company Van Gansewinkel (now Renewi) Netherlands.

Glimmerveen will speak at the European Venture Philanthropy Association conference, which takes place Nov. 29-30 in Poland.

"At van Gansewinkel, I was intrigued by the opportunities in the circular economy and in particularly by the combination of an attractive business model and the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. Black Bear is in a unique position to deliver on both promises," Glimmerveen said.

"By adding Geert to our team, we gain the deep experience of someone who has successfully led growth organizations. As we scale and roll-out internationally, we need to make sure we also build a strong organization to support this," Black Bear CEO Martijn Lopes Cardozo added.

Rochling buys technical plastics parts maker Schwartz GmbH

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rochling Engineering Plastics is acquiring Schwartz GmbH Technical Plastics, a Germany-based manufacturer of molded engineering plastics components, as per Canplastics.

The terms of deal have not been disclosed. Schwartz manufactures impact-resistant plastics and large-sized and complex components made of plastic materials such as nylon and acetal. The company has approximately 240 workers at four sites in Germany, the Czech Republic, China, and the U.S.

Schwartz will be integrated into Rochling’s industrial division.

"With this acquisition, Rochling advances its growth strategy and with new technologies such as the manufacturing of large format cast parts from cast polyamide, it particularly enhances its competence for the conveying and lifting technology, oil and gas industry, intralogistics and the building of elevators," said Franz Lubbers, member of the executive board and responsible for Rochling’s industrial division. "Schwartz is active in specialist industries in general engineering and particularly in lifting and conveying technology. As well as the production of highly resilient, large-volume, complex cast parts, Schwartz has the applied expertise required to fulfill the specialist technical requirements of its customers. The complementary activities at Schwartz are highly compatible with Rochling."

Headquartered in Mannheim, Germany, Rochling specializes in processing engineering plastics. The company is divided in three divisions: industrail, automotive, and medical. Rochling’s Canadian operation is located in Orangeville, Ont.

PPG receives top supplier award from Uni-Select

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG announced that it is the recipient of Uni-Select’s 2018 Diamond Award, which is given to the supplier that has provided the most dependable and detail-oriented support to Uni-Select customers, as per Coatingsworld.

PPG, which supplies automotive refinish products and services to Uni-Select, received the award at the company’s recent Canada VIP Supplier Awards Event in Las Vegas, Nevada. The most prestigious of Uni-Select’s supplier awards, the Diamond Award recognizes the quality of sales tools, fill rate, lead time, inventory management, service within training and technical support, manpower support and more. It is given to a supplier that offers quality products and sustainable and efficient service.

“We are honored to award PPG with our highest manufacturer recognition award for 2018,” said Brent Windom, president and chief operating officer, Uni-Select Canada. “Being selected for the Diamond Award signifies a company has met and exceeded all key areas that Uni-Select values in a partnership, such as innovation in new products and methods, sales support, customer care, highest quality of products in the category, continuous communication and an optimized supply chain. Congratulations to all the PPG team members, as it takes a family to win such an award."

"We are proud to be recognized by Uni-Select," said Norm Angrove, PPG director, automotive refinish, Canada. "The Diamond Award demonstrates our dedication to providing the best products, service and support to our customers. Good relationships are important in the coatings business, and we strive to do whatever it takes to be a good partner. When our customers succeed, we do as well."

Beckers opens new site in Nghe An, Vietnam

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In November, Beckers opened a second manufacturing site in Vietnam, as per Coatingsworld.

Beckers’ existing facility near Ho Chi Minh City has been in operation since 2007.

Hua Hin Zow heads this small operation comprised of production and laboratory as well as all technical, financial and HR functions.

Initially, four mixers with an annual capacity of more than 1,000 tons will be largely dedicated to the new facility of one of Beckers’ customers, Vietnam’s largest coil coater, which is located close by.

According to COO Karsten Eller, Beckers’ strategy for local growth will be to focus on operational excellence, including the close contact and strong technological service that are essential to enable Beckers’ customers to become more successful.

BP to invest USD1 billion in South Africa, including refinery upgrade

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP Southern Africa (BPSA) will invest USD1 billion in South Africa in the next five years with more than a quarter of that set aside to upgrade the SAPREF refinery to produce lower sulfur diesel, its chief executive said, reported Reuters.

The 180,00 barrels per day SAPREF refinery, South Africa’s largest, is a 50:50 venture between Royal Dutch Shell and BPSA, a subsidiary of British oil major BP. The plant is located in the east coast city of Durban.

BP would invest 3.5 billion-4 billion rand (USD252 million-USD288 million) in the refinery upgrade, Chief Executive Priscillah Mabelane told Reuters, adding that about 40 percent of the total USD1 billion investment would go on retail activities.

She said the upgrade would make "sure the refinery can meet the new specifications in terms of low sulfur and Marpol regulations."

The plant would shut for maintenance from May to June 2019, she added.

The upgrade has been driven by new rules demanding a lower fuel sulfur content and changing customer preferences for cleaner diesel, such as D50 and D10.

Refinery operators have been in long-running talks with the government on how to recover costs from upgrading work needed to produce cleaner fuel in South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized economy.

"From an industry perspective we are pushing very hard to ensure that there is policy clarity because we have been on this journey very long, almost a decade," Mabelane said about the ongoing talks.

Industry players estimated in 2009 that the cost to upgrade to cleaner fuels would be about USD4 billion.

Other operators in the sector include Total and Sasol.

Besides upgrading the refinery, Mabelane said BPSA would expand its retail activities in South Africa.

"We are aggressively going to grow our footprint in the country," she said on the sidelines of an event with retailer partner Pick n Pay to launch a new innovation for a loyalty card that will also work at BP fuel stations nationwide.

BP was looking at opportunities to expand its services in Mozambique, where it is the second largest oil company, Mabelane said. "The market is exciting and dynamic," she said.

As MRC wrote before, in May 2018, hte - the high throughput experimentation company was selected by BP to evaluate commercial catalysts for both naphtha reforming and hydrocracking applications using high throughput technology under commercially relevant conditions for its refineries around the world.

BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.